Women in Law: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

By Rebecca Mae Salokar; Mary L. Volcansek | Go to book overview

BARBARA CHARLINE JORDAN
(1936–1996)

Barbara Jordan distinguished herself in the male-dominated fields of law and politics, and achieved national recognition with dignity, courage, and perseverance. She had many obstacles to overcome, including gender discrimination and racial prejudice, before she was elected the first African-American woman to the Texas State Senate since Reconstruction.1 The hurdles cleared and the long road traveled by Jordan to become the chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform began in her hometown of Houston, Texas.


FAMILY BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

Barbara Jordan grew up the youngest of three daughters of Benjamin and Arlyne Jordan. The Jordans were a working-class family who stressed the importance of education. Jordan attended Houston’s public schools where she became very active and involved in her high school’s debate team. Her renowned oratorical skills were nurtured and developed while attending Phyllis Wheatley High School. This is where she decided on a career in law after hearing a speech by an African-American woman lawyer.2

Jordan remained in Houston after graduation to attend Texas Southern University where she majored in political science and history. She continued to develop her oratorical skills and won many awards and championships. After graduating magna cum laude from Texas Southern in 1956, she attended Boston University’s Law School. This was Jordan’s first extended stay outside the South, where she found the racial climate of the day stifling and oppressive. Although Boston’s race relations were not ideal, Jordan also had to confront another kind of discrimination—gender. In 1956, America’s law schools did not

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Women in Law: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Editorial Advisory Board vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Florence Ellinwood Allen (1884–1966) 17
  • Mary Arden (1947–) 25
  • Anita Augsburg (1857–1943) 31
  • Suzanne Bastid-Basdevant (1906–) 34
  • Miriam Ben-Porat (1918–) 38
  • Myra Bradwell (1831–1882) 45
  • Beverly Blair Cook (1927–) 51
  • Irene R. Cortes (1920–) 62
  • Takako Doi (1928–) 68
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–) 78
  • Brenda Marjorie Hale (1945–) 88
  • Rosalyn Higgins (1937–) 94
  • Leonilde Iotti (1920–) 101
  • Barbara Charline Jordan (1936–1996) 112
  • Sylvie Kanigi (1953–) 118
  • Carrie Burnham Kilgore (1838–1909) 123
  • Helen Kinnear (1894–1970) 129
  • Claire L’Heureux-DubÉ (1927–) 136
  • Jutta Limbach (1934–) 144
  • Burnita Shelton Matthews (1894–1988) 150
  • Beverley McIachlin (1943–) 159
  • Soia Mentschikoff (1915–1984) 171
  • Constance Baker Motley (1921–) 180
  • Emily Ferguson Murphy (1868–1933) 190
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (1938–) 202
  • Sandra Day O’Connor (1930–) 210
  • Sadako Ogata (1927–) 219
  • Cecilia MuÑoz Palma (1913–) 231
  • Tamar Pelleg-Sryck (1926–) 237
  • Janet Reno (1938–) 248
  • Mary Robinson (1944–) 257
  • Flerida Ruth P. Romero (193?–) 266
  • Simone RozÈs-Ludwig (1920–) 271
  • Wiltraut Rupp-Von BrÜnneck (1912–1977) 277
  • Helga Seibert (1939–) 283
  • Elisabeth Selbert (1896–1986) 288
  • Margaret a. Somerville (1942–) 292
  • Helene StÖcker (1869–1943) 299
  • Helen Suzman (1917–) 304
  • Leah Tsemel (1945–) 312
  • Agathe Uwilingiyimana (1953–1994) 323
  • Simone Veil-Jacob (1927–) 329
  • Bertha Wilson (1923–) 338
  • Appendix 349
  • Selected Bibliography 353
  • Index 357
  • About the Editors and Contributors 371
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